Blame or Fame?
Last night we heard the tragic news regarding one of Steven and Mary Beth Chapman’s Cinderellas. I have a five-year old daughter and I could scarce let go of her the rest of the night. In fact she slept in mine and Luke’s bed – at our request. And we grieve for this family because we can’t imagine having to let go of our own baby girl while realizing we are also not immune to this or some other unimaginable pain. May our prayer in the midst of these times always be that of Job:
“But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10)
It is now that the world is watching to see if this family will buckle. If they will shake their fist in the face of God who they perceive let this awful thing happen. And you know what? No one would blame them. Goodness, a lot of professing Christians wouldn’t blame them just based on the sheer numbers who have turned their own backs when life didn’t go as planned.
And then there is the issue of Glory. When we respond in the way that people expect, when no one blames us for our reactions, then all eyes are on us – and they stop right there. But, if through a million tears we can hold our faces towards the sky and profess that God is enough? That He is Goodness and Love and Truth and that no amount of Satan’s torture can cause us not to trust Him? THAT, girls, is where Fame takes over. Not yours, but God’s. If you are baffling the world with a sense of peace that passes understanding, you may be looked at for a moment but ultimately unbelievers will want to know, “How? How can you possibly be surviving because I couldn’t?” That is when you point to the Father and make Him famous all over again.
Blame or Fame? If your goal is God’s Glory, you’d better choose it now. Just like a weaker runner needs a head start in a race, when awful things happen we need some stored up resolve to send us headlong into that thing. Choose you this day whom you will serve, not that day. God absolutely is our strength when we are weak, but can’t we help Him out just a dadgum pinch? Can we give Him SOMETHING to work with? Don’t make your God start out with a rookie in the heat of battle, girls. Let’s give him faith that is prepared to go the long haul.
Let’s continually pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. That Steven and Mary Beth can have the strength to overcome their own grief enough to wrap their arms around the son who is doubly devastated.
That through Christ they will have abundant, exceeding power to exercise their pre-determined, famous, enduring faith.
Excellent words. I hurt for this sweet family. It’s hard enough to walk through something like this without the burden that the son must process in addition.
Let’s surround them with prayer that the world will stand in awe of the God they serve!
I heard about this tragedy this morning. How horribly sad! And this is on the heals of a very similar tragedy in our own church! My prayers are definitely with them!
I had not heard about this until reading it here. OH my goodness – this is awful!
Before even reading your post I was thinking about how would their family handle this. I will be praying for them!
The news broke my heart this morning. But, as we well know in our own body of Christ, tragedy can strike at anytime. And I loved what you said about choosing this day, not that one! That will stick with me! I am praying for this family, and also for that today resolve. Thank you for your wisdom. I love ya!
Well said. I’ve been praying for them this morning, especially the older brother, who was driving.
I hadn’t heard of this tragic news until I read your post this morning. I will be praying for their family. May God wrap his arms around them and hold them close.
I too hadnt heard this until reading your post. I can only imagine how they are hurting and the complexity of the struggle to grieve and yet reach out to the son who is probably hurting so badly himself. God please issue supernatural grace and endurance here by Your Spirit.
May God have mercy to extend His strength and comfort to the Chapman family…
I haven’t heard that tragic news. How terrible. I’m praying God will wrap that family up in His arms so tight. I pray also for the son. What a life long pain he will bear. Only God can heal that pain.
You said it just right! Amen!! I needed to hear that!!
I love your beautiful, heartfelt words. I can only imagine the pain they are experiencing – just reading about it makes my heart ache for them. Lucy
This is so sad!!
I just found out about this and I am consumed with grief for them
We will continue to keep them in our prayers
Great words, Lori. My heart is breaking for the Chapman family…very sad story.
**tears** My heart aches for them this morning. I just heard this morning!
Father God, I lift up to You the Chapman family. Father I ask that You wrap Your Loving Arms around this family. Father I ask that You place a hedge of extra protection around this family and esp the son that was driving, Father I ask You be in the mist of this family, that You save, Father that You rejoice over this son with Your gladness, Father that you quiet him with Your love, and that You will rejoice over him with Your singing. Father let them hear You and feel You. Father shore up this family. Father I know that even in this You will be glorified. Father as the world watches, I ask that we be kind, and considerate when questions are ask that are meant to bring hurt and blame will be turned to bring healing and freedom. Thank you Father that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes by morning. Father bring the morning quickly. In Jesus name, Amen.
Powerful words Lisa. Chose you THIS day . . .
You’ve served the Body well today with this.
its heartbreaking, lisa, really
Thank you for reminding us that it is our choice “this” day whom we will serve. My heart breaks for this sweet family, and I pray that the Lord will comfort them through this horrible tragedy.
Wise words today. In the midst of tragedy, our faith is all that we can see at times. We have a dear family in our church that lost their daughter and her husband in a tragic car accident and the peace of God that you speak about that will come thru in our crisis is exactly what this particular family in our church did. I have stood in awe and ask God please allow me to stand on my faith during such a crisis. -blessings, Laurie
Well said! I was shocked last night as I heard the news. It broke my heart for them. I can’t even imagine what they are going through. I have been praying for them since last night and today. These are times we can’t understand the why of it but when we find ourselves there we must learn to trust God! It will take every ounce we have but we are never more safe, never more taken care of than when we are in the arms of God.
Thank you so much for posting such encouraging words. I have felt so sad and burdened for them, and it’s so hard to know ‘why’….but it doesn’t change the fact that our Father is still sovereign. And I love that you emphasized the “pre-determined” faith…so, so true.
Been praying for them all day! My heart so hurts for that family! May God give them strength, and may His glory be seen in “when all falls, they are held”!
When I read about this in the paper this morning, it made me think of the morning that Keith Green’s plane went down w/3 of their children. So very sad and I hurt for all of them, especially the teenage son who will blame himself. So sad. Thanks for your post, very well done.
This was definitely an awful tragedy and I left them a comment, specifically for the son behind the wheel—God knew this was going to happen, it did not surprise Him. God has a plan, a purpose, a reason and we may not understand.
They have been on my mind and heart all day long. And what is the most difficult is “We’re in the limelight… how are we going to react?” I hope they can grieve in privacy and that God will raise them up in His hands.
Well said, they are in my prayers…
Of all the beautiful posts I’ve read today about the Chapmans, this is in the Top 5. You’ve perfectly expressed both our hearts when tragedy strikes and the truth of our God in the midst of them.
This is just one of the many reasons I love you. My tendered heart feels hope after reading this.
Thank you for your words. They helped me today. I am praying for this family.
You, Father love hearing from your children….these prayers that are being offered to you throughout this entire country take them and honor and glorify Yourself with our heartfelt grief and love for this family…Your Word does not return void…even use the lyrics from his music to glorify and show yourself to this family…We trust you, we believe you, we rest in You and we chose this day to follow You despite what happens around us.
We thank you in advance for the grace and peace that You are showering down on these precious people…touch the hearts of all of them and especially the children…I come against strife, guilt and blame in the mighty name of Jesus…Amen
Well said! I know all our hearts are going out to them, and praying hard for them …
Thank you Lisa…
Your words are so right on. We must be prepared ahead of time.
My heart aches for the Chapman family.
And I pray that we (the Christian community) will allow them the space and grace to walk through this fire without judgement, assumptions or expectations. May we not behave like sacred paparazzi.
May our prayer support and compassion bring us back to our knees and keep our mouths quiet while the Father comforts this grieving family…a human family.
Hi! New reader :)
This is such a sad story…I feel so bad for the parents and I cannot imagine what the older brother is feeling. I loved your words and verse from Job.
This was just so, so sad. And you are right–we decide these things ahead of time, to give God glory through many tears, or to buckle. I choose His glory, and ask His strength. Beautiful post.